Error riddled trees on Ancestry yet again

I had a look to see if anyone else had researched John Logan and Isobel Booth from Old Deer. And yes, there are lots on Ancestry, all with a birth date for John Logan of 1796, which is correct, but with most of them having him born in Ireland. He wasn’t: in fact I doubt if he ever went out of Aberdeenshire. How they manage to get such an error is beyond me, as he was alive in 1841 and it says he was born in Aberdeenshire. Plus there’s a 1796 baptism for him at Old Deer on FamilySearch. Very, very sloppy research by an awful lot of Ancestry users. Once again, it looks like one person has made a mistake, and then heaps of people have come along and copied that tree without bothering to check whether it’s right.

There’s been quite a bit lately in genealogical circles about the “One World Family Tree” idea. Apparently FamilySearch now have something where everyone enters their tree onto one big tree, so that eventually everyone in the world (or at least the genealogists amongst us who can be bothered) are connected. But there’s a big problem with that idea: how on earth can they keep it accurate? If the people who put error riddled trees up on Ancestry are anything to go by, the vast majority of family trees out there are wrong, and some of them are very, very wrong. I’m not tempted to join a “One World Tree”. Has anyone had a look at one?

7 responses to “Error riddled trees on Ancestry yet again

  1. I am not submitting any information to Family Search. I don’t like their fine print. You give them license to use anything you submit for eternity whenever you submit anything.

  2. I also have had major problems with on line trees. I am dealing with one now the deals with my gr gr grandfather. Wrong information has been posted and other trees have copied it. The result being we are linked with a family we have no relation with. However I have been able to get some brick walls down by information on some of these on line trees. I myself have a tree on line. I guess it is a mixed bag at best.

    • Checking online trees can give you useful hints for research, but it really is staggering how many of them are woefully inaccurate. Lots of people out there must be thinking they’re descended from people they actually have no relation to at all.

  3. Interesting idea, for the lazy. But accuracy would be a problem as you say.

    • Huge problem. Beware family trees you haven’t researched yourself – chances are they’ll be wrong. And I gather that if you do post your stuff onto one of the “world tree” sites, other people can come along and change it if they disagree.

      There are obviously a lot of lazy genealogists out there, but a lazy tree is, by its very nature, an inaccurate tree. Though for some people I don’t suppose it matters as it will just have been a two week flash in the pan interest.

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